USD 475 Students Sweep Essay Contest

Mid-America Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (MIDTESOL) sponsors an Essay contest each year, where English Language Learning students have the opportunity to share their experiences.  This year, the essays centered around crossroads in life and the importance of education. 

Kimberly Flores, 10 grade at JCHS, 1st Place Winner

Essay topics were to focus on what a crossroads is, and asks students to reflect on a crossroads in their own lives.  Also, essays could have been written about what education means to the student, and what is a ‘right to education’?  The MIDTESOL contest received many entries to the essay contest from several states. 

Jesus Gonzales, 10th grade at JCHS, 2nd Place Winner

Out of the 4 JCHS students that submitted essays for the contest this year, 3 of them took home awards.  Kimberly Flores, a sophomore at JCHS, took 1st place, and the $100 prize that goes with it.  Jesus Gonzales, another sophomore at JCHS, received the 2nd place spot, and Jocelyn Montenegro, a JCHS junior, received 3rd place.  Jesus will also receive a $50, which Jocelyn will take home $25 as her prize. 

Judy Sanner and Debra Stevens are the two teachers at JCHS that teach ELL students, as well as an ELL Strategies course.  They are not surprised that three of their students won the essay contest.  Debra says, “As bilingual students, they have stories to share about their educational experiences as well as those of their parents. This contest gave them a platform to share, and we (Judy Sanner and I) are very proud of them!”

Jocelyn Montenegro, 11th grade at JCHS, 3rd Place Winner

Under normal circumstances, there would be a presentation of the checks to the students made with much fanfare.  However, due to social distancing guidelines, MIDTESOL will send the checks to one of the teachers, who will then distribute them to the students.  MIDTESOL will also include their names in their newsletter that goes to their member teachers.